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May 17, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Spring 2013 issue

A modern family home with an individual touch

Words: Andrea Christians

Photography: Alan Carville

This penthouse duplex is located in the heart of one of Malta’s most fashionable and vibrant locations and was built on the site of an original terraced town house that was recently redeveloped by its current owner into luxurious apartments. The living accommodation occupies the upper of the two floors and is essentially open plan.

Rectangular Gres tiles make up the flooring throughout the property and complement the monochromatic colour scheme. The layout makes for an uncomplicated minimalist look that is the work of designer Kirk Psaila of Unique Construction and Developers Ltd. A black ceramic hob is incorporated into the breakfast bar with a stainless steel extractor fan above. The work surface is quartz and was sourced in Malta whilst the rest of the kitchen units were brought from Italy by the owner. On the adjacent wall an attractive box style wall unit is an interesting focal point and was commissioned and made by a local craftsman. Its innovative design lends itself to many uses and it is currently used as a wine rack and display unit.

In the adjoining living area the leather square edged sofa was sourced locally as were all curtains and blinds. A beige rug covers the floor space in this area to create a warmer feel. The wall unit is of particular interest as this was again designed by the owners and is both a television unit and a display cabinet. Interestingly the Led lights are actually incorporated into the glass shelving above the television and are both an attractive and unusual feature. The matching free standing unit located behind the sofa was also custom made locally.

A glass topped dining suite with white leathered upholstered chairs sits neatly in an alcove to the right. A mirrored wall and wood panel effect at the far end adds light and has the optical illusion of making this area appear larger than it actually is and creates an attractive feature.

With an overall high standard of finish throughout in this apartment the clever use of lighting was particularly eye catching with a square soffit repeating the shape of the kitchen whilst there is an interesting geometric line effect above the living area. I was later to discover that all lighting installations are the work of Kirk Psaila.

Opaque glass windows open on to the shafts allowing for extra light whilst the front of the property is made entirely in glass. White curtains and voiles are hung here whilst sliding doors open on to a spacious covered terrace. Wood effect ceramic tiling creates a decking effect and complements the timber roof that covers the terrace, making it made useable in all weather. The thinking behind this is to provide comfortable shade in the summer months and also to create an area that can be utilised during the cooler months with blinds that can be pulled down to protect against inclement weather conditions. The terrace is completely private and the teak dining suite and rattan furniture make this a perfect location for al fresco dining and entertaining or just relaxing whilst the enjoying the sea views.

The property has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one on each floor. Access to the bedrooms that are located on the lower level is achieved via a spiral glass staircase that is made from brushed steel and edged and partitioned with tempered glass. Both bathrooms are compact in design but make for an optimum use of space. They were each sourced locally and follow a similar theme with unusual square white ceramics set against a mixture of brown mosaic and traditional tiles. The mosaic repeats around the wash basin and bath to give continuity and in both cases the box style units were custom made with the same wood repeated in the mirror and the adjoining storage cupboard.

The featured bedroom has a vibrant blue and orange colour scheme as befits a child and, most notably, an unusual curved soffit style ceiling with lighting that can be set to continuously change colour or remain static. Although similar to what is available on the open market these bunks beds were again privately commissioned and made by local craftsmen with special detail to adequate shelving to make space for toys and other treasured items.

All in all, the overall impression on visiting this apartment was that of a chic, modern, state of the art family home that has a distinct individualistic feel as a result of the many special touches made to the owners specifications.

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